Liberty draft Powell first overall

NEW YORK -- Nicole Powell was the first player chosen in the WNBA's dispersal draft of Sacramento Monarchs players Monday, going to the last-place New York Liberty.

The Minnesota Lynx chose Rebekkah Brunson next and the Connecticut Sun took DeMya Walker with the third selection during a conference call. Teams drafted in inverse order of their regular-season finish this past season.

The Monarchs, who won the WNBA title in 2005, ceased operations last month when Maloof Sports & Entertainment decided to focus all its energy and efforts on the NBA's Sacramento Kings. The league hoped to find new ownership and move the team to the Bay Area, but announced last week the team would disband because a transaction could not be completed in time for next season.

Powell, a 6-foot-2 forward, averaged 16.7 points and 5.9 rebounds last season, her fifth in the WNBA. She joins New York, which finished 13-21 last season -- the second-worst mark in franchise history.

Other players chosen in the dispersal draft were Courtney Paris by Chicago, Laura Harper by San Antonio, Kristin Haynie by Washington, Scholanda Robinson by Tulsa and Chelsea Newton by Seattle. Unrestricted free agents who were not eligible for selection included Kara Lawson, Ticha Penicheiro and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba.